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Montana Health Insurance Continuation (COBRA): What you need to know

Although it covers all employers regardless of size, Montana law, unlike the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), provides for continuation of healthcare coverage in very limited circumstances. Employees covered by a group disability insurance policy who would lose coverage because of a reduction in hours may continue coverage for one year with the consent of the employer (MT Code Sec. 33-22-507). Plans may, but are not required to, provide for continued coverage for the spouse and dependents upon the death of the employee (MT Code Sec. 33-22-503).
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“Conversion” is the right to convert from group coverage to an individual policy when membership in the group ends. Montana law provides for conversion to another group policy or an individual policy for individuals who have been covered for three months by the group plan when coverage is lost because of termination of employment, termination of group coverage by the employer, death or divorce of the employee, or a dependent reaching the plan's age limit (MT Code Sec. 33-22-508 and MT Code Sec. 33-22-510). A converted policy may not exclude coverage of preexisting conditions that were covered under the group policy, including the pregnancy of the employee, the spouse, or covered dependents (MT Code Sec. 33-22-509).
The insurer must offer an individual or group conversion policy that provides the same schedule of benefits and covers the same eligible expenses as those being terminated (MT Code Sec. 33-22-508). The premium for the policy must be at no more than 200 percent of the insurer's customary rate applicable to the group policy being terminated at the time of the conversion. If the person entitled to conversion ...

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